In English, in an orchestra one might say that one's chair position is 2nd Violin, 5th chair. The 2nd Violin part is easy to say: 第二小提琴. But the 5th chair part is troubling. My question is the Chinese way to say X chair where X is larger than 2?

I've asked a number of native Chinese speakers but they were also stymied. I'm aware that 1st chair and 2nd chair are 首席 and 副首席.

EDIT: What I mean by chair is a ranking of skill within the section. It is not very related to the row. An example

(1st row contains 1violin-1stchair, 2v-1c, 1v-2c, and 2v-2c)

can be found here: http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=6444

2 Answers 2


You can just use 第X席. E.g.2nd violin 5th chair 第二小提琴手第5席.

You rarely saw it probably because if the x>2, they probably do not feel that proud. And no matter 第3席 or 第9席, even the 副首席 does not mean too much to the non-expert audiences (in China)--the spotlight is only on the 首席第一小提琴手.

  • 1
    Seems logical, do you have a reference, or a usage example?
    – imrek
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 5:42

2nd try: 我坐在小提琴组的第三排. I sat in the third row of violins…

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Lin suggests ( In 2011 he was appointed first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet.) he's the 3rd person to be the 1st violin. And the Chinese source says 林以信在2011年受邀加入,成為創團以來第三位第一小提琴手 or since he was invited in 2011. These seem to be referring to the same thing.
    – Ringil
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 20:48
  • Did some more googling. Probably closer to target this time.
    – imrek
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 20:54
  • Although some Baidu user says 排 refers to the different groups: violon, celli, etc. zhidao.baidu.com/question/…
    – imrek
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 20:58
  • 排 seems to be like the row. Only marginally related to the chair. I've updated my question to make it clearer what I mean by chair.
    – Ringil
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 21:15

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